September 18, 2014 – Israeli Attorney General recommends that Government build Separation Barrier through Battir

Israeli Attorney General recommends that Government build Separation Barrier through Battir despite UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Listing; International condemnation expected if government adopts recommendation

September 18, 2014

On the 29th of July 2014, the High Court of Justice in Israel held another hearing on the petitions submitted by EcoPeace Middle East and the Village of Battir, regarding our objection to the building of the Separation Barrier in the terraced landscape surrounding the village – now registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Court concluded that the issue be returned for renewed discussion in the cabinet. The Court requested that the cabinet now consider the impact of the UNESCO listing on the building of the barrier as planned.

Today the Attorney General submitted his opinion to the Government of Israel, recommending that the government not reverse its decision to build a physical barrier in the site, despite the UNESCO listing.

Should the government indeed move forward on its decision to build a physical barrier on the site, Israel will be seen as not honoring international agreements and spur a wave of severe condemnations on the part of its important allies in the international community.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director, EcoPeace: “By moving forward with this decision, Israel will once again be condemned by the international community. This could easily be avoided. The Israeli government should adopt alternative measures, technologically proven to be sufficient and already used elsewhere, that could better balance between Israel’s legitimate security needs and the conservation requirements of this unique site.”

EcoPeace calls on the Cabinet to reject the recommendation of the Attorney General. In particular, we call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Environmental Protection to take leadership and support the position of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority, to have electronic security measures in place, rather than a physical barrier.

For more information:
Gidon Bromberg – Israeli Director, EcoPeace; 052-4532597;